What are the government's latest guidelines on weddings and namings?

You can find all the most up-to-date information here, but the main message at the moment is that during lockdown, weddings are only allowed under exceptional circumstances and namings aren't permitted. This is likely to change when we go back into tiers again: I'll update the information here on this page when that happens.

 

Can we postpone our wedding ceremony date from 2021 to a later year?

Yes, of course, I'd love to support you with any worries over potential covid-19 restrictions this year. I want to help any couples looking to rearrange wedding dates, while also making sure I'm able to stay in business. Sadly, so far I’ve had to turn away at least 10 potential 2021 bookings due to unavailability resulting from 2020 postponements, and have therefore needed to consider carefully how I can best support couples with postponements this year.

 

If you would like to postpone from 2021 (or hold a back-up date) to a Saturday in 2022 or 2023 during peak wedding season (April to September inclusive), there will be a small extra fee of £100. As soon as this fee is paid, I will block off your new date just for you and will turn away any other future enquiries for your day. (I'm happy to reserve a new 2022/2023 Saturday for 2 weeks while you decide on what to do, but am unfortunately unable to hold it for longer than this without payment, due to the large number of postponements and new enquiries I am likely to be balancing this year.)

 

If your postponement or back-up date falls between Sunday and Friday inclusive, and/or is out of peak season (ie. between October and March inclusive), there will be no charge at all. (Equally, there will be no charge, of course, if your 2021 wedding date happens to occur during a national lockdown or takes place within a tiered area where weddings aren’t legally allowed to go ahead due to covid-19 restrictions). 

Can we rearrange our 2021 naming ceremony?

Yes, I'm happy to do that free of charge, but am afraid I’m unable to lead naming ceremonies on Saturdays between April and September (inclusive) because they are limited peak dates for weddings. 

what dates do you have available?

Please get in touch and I'll send you a link to my live Google doc, which I keep updated with booked dates at all times.

we're thinking of going ahead with our legal ceremony this year despite postponing our main event till next year... what do you think?

I can totally understand you wanting to do this in such a time of uncertainty - quite a few of my couples are choosing this option. If you're thinking of doing this, you've got a few choices!

 

The first thing I'd want to remind you of is that ALL register offices have to offer 'statutory weddings' that will cost around just £57 plus certificates: often these time slots are early in the morning on weekdays and are just for you, two/four witnesses plus a photographer. So, if you would like to view the legal ceremony this year more as 'doing the paperwork', and leaving the main ceremony till next year, this option might be for you! (Some register offices don't advertise their statutory weddings - so you'd need to specifically ask for them.) 

Another thing you might not know is that, although you need to 'give notice' in your local register office, you can have the ceremony in a different one. (We gave notice at St George's Hall in Liverpool but got married in Kendal register office, for example.) So, if your local register office doesn't have a time slot when you would like, you can look for another one in the region that does. (This could be important if you'd like to get legally married on exactly the same date in 2021 as your postponed ceremony date in 2022/2023, ie. making sure you have just one anniversary date! Cute!)

Another option would be to bank on covid-19 restrictions this year that would allow 15-30 guests at a legal ceremony, still leaving the main event till your postponed date next year or 2023. This option would work if you wanted to invite all close family members this year rather than just two witnesses. I have led this type of combination of ceremonies across two years before and it worked really well. 

Regarding the exchange of rings... please know that this is NOT a compulsory part of a legal ceremony. You can choose to leave the ring exchange to the main ceremony with me if you like. Or you could exchange rings at the small, legal ceremony this year... then choose a different way to symbolise the commitment you're making next year, e.g. a handfasting or drinking from the same cup. An excuse to get creative, maybe? Please feel free to get in touch if you wanted to chat through possibilities! 

i'm losing some of my enthusiasm, have you got any advice?

Well, first know that you're not alone in struggling with planning and re-planning a ceremony during a global pandemic! But the best advice I can give you is to keep in touch with your suppliers because we are so genuinely invested in making sure you have a gorgeous day ... whether that is going to be much smaller or much later than you imagined.

 

My background is in the arts and in education: coming up with creative and fun solutions is second nature to me! So, I'm happy to work through any ceremony changes you think you'll need to make. And I promise, promise, promise that your wedding/naming ceremony will be *beautiful* and will celebrate you as a couple, or you as parents. If you've made it through a global pandemic together, you can do ANYTHING!!

© Sophie Colligan Ceremonies 2020. Based in Liverpool, UK

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